Arrowfield Stud lost a potentially valuable stallion prospect when Weatherly had to be euthanised at Canterbury.
The colt, a son of the deceased Arrowfield sire Beneteau, went amiss during Saturday’s Schweppes Handicap.
Trained by Paul Messara, Weatherly was having his first start after making a favourable impression as a two-year-old last season.
In three juvenile starts, Weatherly won the Listed Talindert Stakes and was placed third in the Todman Stakes behind Kiss And Make Up and subsequent Golden Slipper winner Capitalist.
And after two recent barrier trial wins, the three-year-old was second favourite to make a winning return in a race won by Spending To Win from the Snowden stable.
Carrying $10 to $7 support, Spending To Win sat outside the favourite Super Too ($2.50) and took over at the 200m before winning by one-and-three-quarter lengths from country filly Miss Amajardan ($18).
While apprentice Deanne Payna couldn’t produce an all-the-way win on Super Too, she had better luck on the Gary Portelli-trained Improvement in the New Year’s Eve Handicap.
Improvement ($4.80) made three wins on end in a preparation Portelli had almost given up on before it began.
“She’s been in the stable forever because if it wasn’t one thing it was another. She kept hurting herself,” Portelli said.
Portelli said he would have been happy if Panya had decided to ride Improvement in a different way from the one which had delivered successive midweek wins at Canterbury after leading.
“I thought there was a chance she might be able to angle in for a trail but she just had that natural pace to keep them out,” he said.